How Can I Help?

I am a very positive person; I try to see the good in bad situations when possible. Many times in the past I was accused of “looking at the world through rose colored glasses.” Yes, in all honesty I was and try to be an optimist.

Now that I am a senior citizen I have a better understanding of what life is all about; I’ve experienced some truly trying times; experienced pain and suffering first-hand as a wife, a mother, a friend and as a nurse. I believe my attitude helped me survive these rough times.

But…when I hear in the news of how one country is picking off the inhabitants of what used to be their territory, while killing innocent people, destroying property, or even murdering out of anger, hate, or prejudice, I admit that I have much less than kind, positive feelings. Sometimes I become overwhelmed with an unbidden sadness, rage, helplessness, pain, or hatred that wells up inside me.

Why would… how could anyone want to hurt anyone in such ways? How can anyone murder and maim people, whom they have never even met personally? How can they risk their own lives for a cause that espouses this kind of behavior? And to further drive the point home, why are some of us doing these activities to people from their own country, right here in the USA??

We remember the horror of 9/11; still seeing over and over the destruction of our three huge buildings as the terrorists crashed into the Twin Towers, the pentagon and then the crash site of the plane carrying passengers and some of the terrorists. How could anyone do these things?

I feel some of those old emotions, empathizing with the suffering of strangers in my own country. As I listen to the news I often have to get a grip on myself. I begin to sink into a darkness that I do not want in my life. I begin to wonder what if someone tried to overtake our country through hacking our computer systems.

Then I realized as Shel Silverstein aptly described what I was feeling in his poem, “Whatiif .”.


by Shel Silverstein.

Last night, while I lay thinking here,
some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
and pranced and partied all night long
and sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I’m dumb in school?
Whatif they’ve closed the swimming pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there’s poison in my cup?
Whatif I start to cry?
Whatif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don’t grow taller?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
Whatif the fish won’t bite?
Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
Whatif they start a war?
Whatif my parents get divorced?
Whatif the bus is late?
Whatif my teeth don’t grow in straight?
Whatif I tear my pants?
Whatif I never learn to dance?
Everything seems well, and then
the nighttime Whatifs strike again!

What if they tried to break into my home? What if they tried to bomb a plane that one of my children was on? What if we couldn’t buy food or gas because someone killed the internet system? What if I couldn’t reach my two sons and their families who live about an hour or more away? What if they couldn’t find me in the madness? Whoa!! Stop!

I pulled out of the well of misery and took a long hot shower. As I felt the water wash away the sweat from some heavy house work I had done earlier, I also let the water wash away some of the fears and helplessness from my heart. Yes, I was still angry and scared but less so.

But I realized there are some things I could do in addition to praying for God’s healing Light to help them. I live here and am too old to fight physically. But I am not too old to fight on the internet.

So what am I fighting? I can not fight the perpetrators on line. If I print words that stir up more hate, what am I accomplishing? (Perhaps more prejudice against innocent people of similar, or different color, religion, or culture?) Not such a good idea.

Yes, writing these feelings out is good for me. But that is not my goal as I write them. We all have enough of it to work through without being burdened or inflamed by the words of someone else. (I admit, I feel like cheering every time I hear someone on the news talking about how people are joining together to stand against evil people who slaughter innocents.)

So what is my purpose if I don’t want to spread more hate, stir up more rage, or pray for death to the murderers, cruel, psychopaths who kill the innocents?

My mission in this life I believe is to try to spread Love, Light, Peace and understanding wherever possible. (There is none to be seen in those heinous deeds committed.) In short nothing I do here, short of prayer for God’s intervention can halt the pain and suffering occurring in the countries affected far away or anywhere in the world.

Nothing we say or do can annihilate the evil that has possessed these crazed beings to make them stop what they are doing. Again, we have to leave that part up to God, the military forces and the world powers that be.

But we can help our fellow humans who are suffering, I believe, by making a difference, even in some small way, wherever we find ourselves. Try to support those, who are hurting, by listening to their stories; offering support with words; showing we care by sometimes sharing what we can of our possessions or time. We can volunteer to make a difference in our own little microcosm of the universe.

We can love fiercely those around us to demonstrate to them that love can be strong and lasting like God’s love. We can be “instruments of peace” and love. There will still be times when we may not feel charitable to those who are harming others. So what do we do?

After more recent attacks on innocent victims, I recommend we do what those victims or their families did in their bravery. They set the best example for all of us.

1. We should stand strong and stand together! Anyone knows that when an enemy is divided they can be beaten more easily. Standing together makes us stronger.

2. We should offer assistance, no matter how feeble we may think it to be. Donate money, time, prayer, and listen to friends who need to talk through their pain.

3. We should continue our lives as normally as possible to not encourage those who think they can take over our little worlds!

4. We as a world should lift our military people and each other up in prayers, meditations, with our positivity through our lifestyles, with our hearts and our money, if necessary, to prevent evil from stretching any further than it has.

5. We can put ourselves in the shoes of those around us. Be kind and compassionate. We never know what sadness someone is experiencing. Be kind to the new people, regardless of their color, race, sexual orientation, religion, or culture. Being judgmental does not help anyone.

6.  We can stand against paralyzing fears and prevent them from controlling our lives, squashing our loyalty to our country, or our love of life.

These suggestions won’t change the world, but they may help divert fear, hate, judgment and more away from our microcosm and hopefully direct us towards peace, love, and compassion. We are all in this together. Let’s please find a way to make things work out as equitably as possible.

12 thoughts on “How Can I Help?

  1. Beautiful words- I so often fall into darker ways of thinking, I wish I could be more like you! Such a tragedy in France, my heart goes out to them. Also on a side note, I LOVE Shel Silverstein!! His were definitely some of my favorite books growing up!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I love what you wrote about doing what you can in your microcosm of the world. Everybody with a mind to see positive change happen in our world can take part in some small way. It may not seem sufficient or helpful at the time, but somebody may notice, may need, may benefit, may pass it on further, which makes any effort we can apply worth it. The Butterfly Effect!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Many people reel and roll with the range of emotions you express so well in your essay. We must all “Pray With Your feet” as my old Auntie used to say, and your feet are surely taking you in the right directions with your activism within your community. May many follow in your footsteps. All my best to you.


    1. JooHanna, thank you for your comments. They mean so much to me. I am just as glad that you enjoyed the post. Maybe someday we will all get along with each other. Who knows? Hugs and thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

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